Setting a Specific Time of the Year for Reciting the Quran: Innovation
Fatwa No: 373963

Question

what are the implication fixing the date for the Quran reading or recitation in each and every year?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

It is legislated for a Muslim to recite the Book of Allah as much as possible during the night and the day. However, it is not permissible to single out a time of the year for reciting the Quran without reciting it at other times, even if that time is a preferred time, such as the month of Ramadan, the first ten days of Thul-Hijjah, Friday, ‘Ashooraa’, and other times. This is because at these times, a Muslim is recommended to recite the Quran as much as he can. Nonetheless, it is not permissible to allocate the recitation of the Quran only to these times, in a way that he does not recite it at other months or days of the year, because one would be abandoning the Book of Allah.

This is when the selected days or months are favored by the Sharee'ah; how would the case be in times that are not actually favored by it?

In this case, allocating such times for the recitation of the Quran while deserting its recitation throughout the year is a religious innovation because it is favoring a specific time that is not favored by the Sharee’ah. Indeed, many religious innovations first start with such matters, until that allocation (of time) which is not legislated by the Sharee’ah becomes (in people’s perception) a Sunnah to follow, whereby the new generations inherit it from the former ones. Thereafter, if someone objects to these innovations, people would consider that to be a contradiction to the Sunnah.

Now that it became clear that it is a religious innovation to allocate the recitation of the Quran in a specific time of the year –whether a month, or day, or an hour – without reciting the Quran at other times, then the following matters would result from such an innovation:

1- It is feared that the person who does so would be considered as having abandoned the Quran. It is desirable for a Muslim to recite the entire Quran once every forty days and should not go beyond this without a sound excuse. Imam Ahmad stated that it is disliked for one to delay finishing the recitation of the entire Quran more than forty days, because 'Abdullah ibn ‘Amr asked the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ): “In how many days should one complete the recitation of the Quran? He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “In forty days.” [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi and An-Nasaa’i]

2- Being sinful because of innovating a misguidance. The sin increases if others follow him in this innovation. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever introduces a bad practice that is followed, he will receive its sin and a burden of sin equivalent to that of those who follow it, without that detracting from their burden in the slightest.” [Muslim]

3- It is feared that the act [here it means the recitation] that is accompanied with that innovation will not be accepted and it will be rejected, as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever performs an act which is not in accordance with ours [our Sunnah], it will be rejected from him.” [Muslim] Another narration reads: “Whoever introduces into this matter of ours (Islam) that which is not a part of it; it will be rejected.

An-Nawawi said: “This Hadeeth is one of the great principles of Islam, and it is one of the eloquent speeches of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ); it is an explicit statement about rejecting all (religious) innovations [..] This Hadeeth should be memorized and used in abolishing evil and should be made known to people to use it to refute evil and abolish it.” [End of quote]

Allah knows best.

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